Preschool Teacher

Santa Barbara
Full Time, Part Time
Santa Barbara Zoo
Are you looking for a fun job teaching early learners? Join our team of educators in this unique fully outdoor learning environment!
Learn more about the program 
here!Position Status:

Full-Time, Regular, Hourly, Non-Exempt
Schedule: 40 hours per week, Monday – Friday
$19.30 – $21.30 per hour, DOE
12 ECE Units


Under the general direction of the Education team, a Preschool Teacher promotes the Zoo and its mission through implementing the Early Explorers Preschool program. This position supervises groups of students while delivering preschool curriculum in an engaging, age-appropriate manner, ensuring the safety and well-being of their groups.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES include the following:
  •  Coordinates with the Early Explorer Director to ensure effective execution of program curriculum in an engaging, age-appropriate manner, working with children within the 3-5 age range.
  • Leads curriculum activities for 3-5 year olds, including but not limited to hands-on science activities, stories, songs, games, zoo tours, and crafts in an engaging, age-appropriate manner.
  • Accurately explains animal and environmental science concepts to students.
  • Improvises pre-approved activities when necessary, to keep students engaged and focused.
  • Supervises students and leads activities during extended day care as required.
  • Inventories and maintains curriculum equipment and supplies.
  • Responds to health, welfare and safety issues of students.
  • Signs students in and out according to established Security Procedures and responds to parent questions.
  • Interacts professionally with parents/guardians, zoo visitors, volunteers, and other zoo staff.
  • Distributes supplies to students such as name tags and t-shirts.
  • Maintains cleanliness of common spaces.
  • Works as part of the Education team to continually improve the Early Explorer experience.
  • Adheres to the Zoo’s policies and procedures as outlined in the Employee Policy Manual.
  • Applies and Exemplifies “green” (sustainable) practices whenever possible.
  • Responds to emergencies quickly and follows emergency protocols.
  • Remains calm and creates an atmosphere of calm and control for those dealing with the emergency situation.
  • Other duties as assigned to maintain efficient and quality zoo operations.
Guest Relations:
  • Greets every guest with a smile.
  • Thanks guests for supporting/visiting the Zoo.
  • Ensures the Zoo’s presentation standards for cleanliness and maintenance are met by keeping work areas clean, picking up trash, reporting unsafe or unsightly conditions.
  • Associates with guests to assist and share information.
  • Responds to all guest inquiries, complaints, and comments according to Zoo guest relations procedures.
  • Maintains a clean neat appearance and adheres to the Zoo’s uniform dress code.
  • Takes responsibility to stay informed about happenings at the Zoo, such as reading employee communications and attending meetings.
  • Reflects the qualities outlined in the Guest Relations Statement and the Employee Pledge.
  • Other duties as required.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements and environmental characteristics described below are representative of the knowledge, skill, ability, and working and physical elements required of the position.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Education and Experience:
  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • Experience working with children
  • 12 ECE units required
    • These classes must be apart of the 12 ECE units:
      • Child/Human Growth and Development
      • Child, Family and Community
      • Program/Curriculum
    • Please include a copy of your unofficial transcripts (can be uploaded under the “cover letter” attachment)
  • Require an official transcript upon hiring
License, Certification, or Preferred Qualifications:
  • Successful completion of a Department of Justice background check prior to Training start date.
  • Successful completion of First Aid and CPR certification (may be available through employer).
  • Completion of Mandated Reporting for Suspected Child Abuse training (may be available through employer)
  • Prefer experience in an informal education facility.
  • Experience with special needs children is a plus.
 Knowledge, Skills and Ability:
  • Basic knowledge of Early Childhood Education.
  • Ability to organize and implement daily activities.
  • Ability to lead activities in an age-appropriate manner.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to relate sensitively to young children and their parents/guardians.
  • Ability to interact courteously and respectfully with supervisors, fellow employees, volunteers, and our guests.
  • Ability to work in a team atmosphere.
  • Ability to exercise safe work habits.
  • Awareness of, sensitivity to, and empathy with animals.
Physical Demands & Work Environment:
  • Must be physically able to operate a variety of machines and equipment including telephones, printers, two-way radios, and copiers.
  • Ability to run, kneel, sit on the ground/floor, squat, and stand for long periods of time
  • Ability to negotiate the zoo work environment including behind-the-scenes, lawns, gravel, hilltop, attic storage, and high storage shelves.
  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds occasionally, and 10-20 or fewer pounds frequently.
  • Ability to exert a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly push, pull or otherwise move objects.
  • Involves working out-of-doors in all weather conditions.
  • Supportive and open employment culture.
Tools Used:
  • Personal Computer and software (Word, Excel, Outlook)
  • Standard office equipment; telephone, copier, printer, facsimile machine, and calculator
  • Two-way radio
  • Dry erase board
  • Bio Facts and various learning-based materials
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